After making triple talaq or instant divorce a bailable-offence, the union cabinet on Wednesday approved the ordinance making triple talaq a punishable offence. The government earlier proposed the ordinance in both the houses of the parliament but failed to generate support in the Rajya Sabha.

The new bill—Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill—which was proposed by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, has three major changes. Firstly, only a woman or a close relative can file a police case against her husband for instant or triple talaq. This archaic practice allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives immediately by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice.

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The second change will allow the woman to retrieve the case if the husband pleads for reconciliation and in case of compromise. Thirdly, the proposal of making the bill a bailable offence as opposed to its previous form when it was a non-bailable offence. The law ministry approved these changes to win the support of Congress and other parties.

After making triple talaq or instant divorce a bailable-offence, the union cabinet on Wednesday approved the ordinance making triple talaq a punishable offence. The government earlier proposed the ordinance in both the houses of the parliament but failed to generate support in the Rajya Sabha.

The law, in its new form will punish a man convicted of committing triple talaq to three years of jail and mandatory maintenance to the woman. For the amendment making it a bailable offence, only a magistrate can grant bail to the man after hearing the woman. The police do not have the authority to grant bail to the man.

The Supreme Court is now hearing petitions against Nikah Halala and polygamy. Nikah Halala is an Islamic tradition in which if a divorced couple wants to get back together then the woman will have to marry another man first, consummate the wedding and divorce him. This is the only way the divorced couple can remarry as per the Islamic tradition.

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